Barclay's Apology - links and further reading

One of the virtues associated with Protestantism is thrift. For a short book that outlines the potential of this virtue today, see Transforming Capitalism: Entrepreneurship and the Renewal of Thrift, by Peter Heslam. It is available for only £3.95 here.

Peter Heslam is involved in the group of scholars and business leaders referred to in this reflection. It is convened by the Center for Christian Business Ethics Today, in association with Westminster Theological Seminary. The Center is publishing a series of volumes entitled Business Ethics Today that applies biblical and historical theology to business (details here).

The influence of Protestantism on the rise of capitalism is most famously presented by the German sociologist Max Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, published in English in 1930. The influence of Roman Catholicism is argued by Michael Novak in his The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1993), though Novak concedes the anti-business sentiment of much Catholic teaching (a feature it shares with much contemporary Protestant theology).

Books on the remarkable involvement of Quakers in commercial entrepreneurship include David Burns Windsor, The Quaker Enterprise: Friends in Business (1980) and James Walvin, The Quakers: Money and Morals (1997).

For a book that reflects on the global economic legacy of the Puritans against the background of the economic crisis of 2007-09, see The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream Amidst Global Financial Chaos (2009), by Kenneth Hopper and William Hopper.

Robert Barclay’s Apology is available for free download here.

The Westminster Standards include the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the Westminster Larger Catechism. The latter (in answer to Question 144) speaks of the importance of ‘standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth'.